Lawyers ask commission to investigate Lucido, allege politically-motivated Whitmer investigation

Posted at 1:21 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 18:22:38-04

Lawyers are asking the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission to investigate Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido, alleging his investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her nursing home policy is politically-motivated.

Related: Law professor weighs in on if Lucido's investigation into nursing home deaths would hold up

The letter was signed by three lawyers: Richard Painter, who was an associate counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House Counsel's office from 2005-2007, Claire Finkelstein, who founded the University of Pennsylvania Law's Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, and Larry Dubin, a law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy who previously served on the AGC.

Related: Macomb County Prosecutor says criminal charges possible against Governor Whitmer over nursing home deaths

In the 17-page letter, the lawyers say Lucido used "his newly elected office to pursue a politically-motivated investigation against the Governor of Michigan to advance his own partisan political interests."

The lawyers wrote that they have concerns with his behavior regarding the legal profession, and also mention Lucido's past as a state senator where he alleged that Whitmer was responsible for COVID-19-related nursing home deaths.

They say that Lucido should have recused himself from any criminal matter, based on the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct.

It comes after Lucido said he would investigate nursing home deaths in Michigan and that criminal charges were possible against Whitmer.

Lucido said he would review the deaths related to coronavirus, questioning whether Whitmer's plan to transfer recovering patients into facilities led other patients to become infected with the virus.

The commission is the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Michigan Supreme Court which looks at allegations of attorney misconduct, according to its website. It has jurisdiction over all attorneys licensed to practice by the Michigan Bar.

Prosecutor Pete Lucido tells 7 Action News the ethics complaint against him by the three law professors is political because it was sent to news outlets this morning as it was being filed with the state.

"They know better. Shame on them," Lucido said. "What was their motive of sending it to all of the news media?"

Richard Painter, from the University of Minnesota, tells 7 Action News there should be an independent investigation of nursing home deaths adding, "The conduct of the governor, the conduct of the nursing homes industry, the health commissioners, top to bottom public and private."

Lucido says he's gotten several complaints and will move forward.

The complaint against him will be reviewed and if deemed worthy sent to a public hearing. The process will likely be weeks down the road.

You can read the entire letter below.
Lucido Attorney Grievance Complaint by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd